EMF HALF MARATHON – 12 WEEK BEGINNERS TRAINING PLAN

There is no off the shelf schedule that will be applicable to everyone. Everyone is starting from a different base level of fitness and factors like age, experience, gender, motivation and expectation all play a part. The schedules here are really a guide to what you need to do and are not set in stone.

WEEK 1

mon

Rest

tue

Fartlek Session—1x5min 1x4min, 2x3min, 2x2min with 90 sec recoveries

wed

Cross train or 20-30min easy run

thu

20-30min relaxed or steady run

fri

Rest

sat

Cross train or 20-30min relaxed run

sun

50min medium/long run

WEEK 2

mon

Rest

tue

Hills — min of 4 to max of 8x 150–200m – very slow jog down recovery

wed

Cross train or 20-30min easy run

thu

20-30min relaxed or steady run

fri

Rest

sat

Cross train or 20-30min relaxed run

sun

50min medium/long

WEEK 3

mon

Rest

tue

Fartlek — 2(6x30sec), recovery 2min, p.rep reduce 15sec, 5min rest.

wed

Cross train or 20-30min easy run

thu

20-30min relaxed or steady run

fri

Rest

sat

Cross train or 20-30min relaxed run

sun

60min medium/long

WEEK 4

mon

Rest

tue

Intervals — 2x 750m, 1x500m, 1x250m with 90 sec recoveries

wed

Cross train or 30-40min easy run

thu

20-30min relaxed or steady run

fri

Rest

sat

Cross Train or 20-30min relaxed run

sun

1hr 10min medium/long run

WEEK 5

mon

Rest

tue

Interval Training Session—3x 800m with 2min recoveries

wed

Cross train or 30-40min easy run

thu

20-30min relaxed or steady run

fri

Rest

sat

Cross Train or 20-30min relaxed run

sun

Kilomathon 13.1K

WEEK 6

mon

Rest

tue

Hills — min of 6 to max 10x 150 – 200m – very slow jog down recovery

wed

Cross train or 30-40min easy run

thu

20-30min relaxed or steady run

fri

Rest

sat

Cross Train or 20-30min relaxed run

sun

1hr 25min medium/long run

WEEK 7

mon

Rest

tue

Fartlek — 1x6min, 1x5min, 2x4min, 2x3min with 90 sec recoveries

wed

Cross train or 30-40min easy run

thu

30-40min relaxed or steady run

fri

Rest

sat

Cross train or 20-30min relaxed run

sun

1hr 30min medium/long run

WEEK 8

mon

Rest

tue

Intervals — 800m, 600m, 400m, 200m with 90sec recoveries

wed

Cross train or 40-50min medium/long run

thu

20-30min relaxed or steady run

fri

Rest

sat

Cross train or 20-30min relaxed run

sun

1hr 35min medium/long run

WEEK 9

mon

Rest

tue

Interval Training Session — 4x 400m with 90sec recoveries

wed

Cross train or 40-50min medium/long run

thu

20-30min relaxed or steady run

fri

Rest

sat

Cross train or 20-30min relaxed run

sun

1hr 40min medium/long run

WEEK 10

mon

Rest

tue

Fartlek Session—1min, 2min, 3min, 3min, 2min, 1min – half rep recovery

wed

Cross train or 40-50min medium/long run

thu

30-40min relaxed or steady run

fri

Rest

sat

Cross train or 20-30min relaxed run

sun

1hr 50min medium/long run

WEEK 11

mon

Rest

tue

Intervals — 3x (800m 200m with 1min recovery) rest 3min between sets.

wed

Cross train or 40-50min medium/long run

thu

20-30min relaxed or steady run

fri

Rest

sat

Cross train or 20-30min relaxed run

sun

60min medium/long run

WEEK 12

mon

Rest

tue

1km time trial followed by 4x 300m strides

wed

Rest or easy 20min run

thu

20min 4x200m stridesn

fri

Rest or 20min light run

sat

Rest

sun

EMF Half Marathon!

Easy or recovery runs

During an easy run you should feel relaxed. You should be breathing comfortably and be capable of holding a conversation throughout the run. If you’re a new/novice runner then you’ll probably be questioning whether any runs feel easy and holding a conversation may feel impossible. Slow down, walk if necessary and control your effort.

Steady runs

These are the bread and butter of your training, the ‘miles in the bank’. Steady runs build the aerobic base that acts as the foundation for the rest of your training. Conversations are still possible at this pace but in sentences rather than long gossip.

Tempo Runs

Tempo runs (sometimes called threshold runs) are runs where after a 10-15 minute warm up you run at a sustained pace for anything from 20 min up to an hour with a 10-15 min slower jog at the end. You are running hard, possibly just below your normal 10k pace, but not flat out. And the distance and effort should be such that you do not finish feeling exhausted. As with interval runs, it is such an individual area, to recommend individually.

Pace Runs

Pace runs are training runs, run at approximately your estimated race pace. That is if you are aiming for a 3 hour 30 marathon averaging approx 8 min miles.(5 min km) then your pace runs are run at 8 min miles. They help build pace judgement and even paced running. The long training run is there to build endurance, not speed, and running your long run at a faster pace than you are ready for could lead to you taking longer to recover each week and upset the steady gradual improvement all schedules are designed to bring.

Repetition/Interval training (8×800)

Repetition or interval training are a feature of schedules where you are really committed to improving and bringing the best out of yourself whatever your standard. You do not have to be an elite or even good club standard runner to run the advanced schedules. Rather you have probably a background of a few years of training fairly hard at any distance from 10k up to marathon and understand how faster paced running or running “out of your comfort zone” once a week has helped you improve.

Interval or repetition running, are efforts run at faster than your planned marathon race pace. Impossible to give more than general guidance as it is such an individual area and depends a lot on where you are starting from and what your goal is and is usually best done under guidance from a group environment or a coach or experienced personal trainer. 4x 800 is one example which can build to 8x 800 as the schedule progresses. You run the 800 metres or whatever the chosen distance is at the faster pace. Then walk or jog 400metres very easily before repeating the faster distance again etc. For marathon training long intervals of at least 800m or longer (1000m or even a mile) are acknowledged to be most beneficial.

Hill Repeats

These are a variation on repetitions on the flat. They are a great variation with a similar benefit of building leg strength. Find an incline of approx 4-600 metres or one that will take about 2 minutes. Run hard up the hill and slightly over the crest, turn around and jog slowly down the hill before repeating the run up again etc